I always feel a little cautious when a brand describes itself as hypoallergenic – not because I doubt the brand, but because the word itself is to some extent open to interpretation.
‘Hypoallergenic’ has no real legally defined definition which places conditions on those who choose to use it. That said, it’s generally accepted that a hypoallergenic product is one which has been formulated to be unlikely to cause allergic reactions. Typically, this means free of fragrances, for instance, when we’re dealing with household products and cosmetics.
Planet is a small American brand of cleaning products describing itself as ‘environmentally friendly’ and ‘100% biodegradable’ – as well as ‘hypoallergenic’.
Their formulations are very straightforward, and would definitely suit many consumers with allergies. They avoid using enzymes, colours and fragrances. There is limited choice out there for those shunning these ingredients, and it’s terrific that Planet’s range broadens that choice.
Only one of their products – Planet Ultra Laundry Detergent – contains preservatives, and given the name and theme of this blog, readers will not be surprised to learn what they are.
It’s a pity that this particular product contains both methylisothiazolinone and benzisothiazolinone in the formulation, not only because without them, the entire brand would be entirely isothiazolinone-free, but also because for a brand which is clearly ‘hypoallergenic’ in so many other ways – or ‘free and clear’, as it describes itself – it’s difficult to understand why it is using possibly the most presently notorious allergenic preservatives available.
The helpful customer services team told me that they receive positive feedback from customers with chemical sensitivities, and I’ve no reason to doubt that at all; Planet do use SLES (sodium laureth sulphate) in some products, but nothing else particularly controversial or problematic to those with skin or allergic sensitivities.
They also told me that the isothiazolinone content is extremely low (and it is if the figures are to be believed – 0.00005% each of MI and BIT, they say, which seems almost negligible) but that those with MI allergy could safely use an alternative product – Planet 2X Ultra Laundry Detergent – which is preservative free.
There is also a Planet Ultra Powdered Laundry Detergent as a second option, as well as a Planet Delicate Laundry Wash. Both are safe.
Other safe products in the Planet suite are an All-Purpose Spray Cleaner and an Ultra Dishwashing Liquid.
You can see a full list of ingredients of all the products on the Planet site here.